Career advice

A chance to shape RCN by joining new Professional Nursing Committee

The RCN will have a directly elected Professional Nursing Committee for the first time from next January. Lynne Pearce talks to college chief executive Janet Davies about this exciting new opportunity for nurses

The RCN will have a directly elected Professional Nursing Committee for the first time from next January. Lynne Pearce talks to college chief executive Janet Davies about this exciting new opportunity for nurses.

davies
The new panel will give more people a chance to lead the work of the college,
says chief executive Janet Davies.  Picture: Barney Newman

Are you passionate about your profession and want to help shape its future? If so, joining a new RCN committee could provide the perfect opportunity.

The RCN Professional Nursing Committee will help the college reinforce its professional identity, with members leading on key issues such as nursing practice, policy, education, professional development, quality and standards, and research.

‘This is very new for us,’ says RCN chief executive and general secretary Janet Davies. ‘We’re looking for this committee to strengthen our standing as a royal college. We have a responsibility to deliver on all these areas and hope this will help us do it in a better way.’

Role models

The committee will be made up of 14 members – one from each country and region, alongside a healthcare support worker and nursing student. Nursing staff can nominate themselves, supported by two nurse members, and must meet eligibility criteria. Terms of office range from two to four years, and start in January 2018.

Alongside expert knowledge, candidates should understand the changes and challenges currently faced by nursing and healthcare. ‘They are likely to be role models and outstanding figures in their own fields of practice,’ explains Ms Davies. ‘They will be able to demonstrate some form of service transformation, influencing policy at a local or national level.

‘The biggest thing for us is having that passion for nursing and a belief in the difference the RCN can make’

Janet Davies

‘They will also have strategic vision and excellent communication and interpersonal skills. But the biggest thing for us is having that passion for nursing and a belief in the difference the RCN can make.’

Ms Davies believes the role is ideal for those who have a long-standing interest in the professional aspects of the college’s work, but have not necessarily been attracted to joining its governing body, the RCN council.

‘It’s giving more people a chance to lead the work of the college,’ she says. ‘It will appeal especially to those who want to drive the RCN’s professional role forwards, but who may not have the same level of interest in other areas of the RCN’s work. Now they can be part of the infrastructure, developing a really strong vision for the profession and the ability for the college to achieve it.’

Deadline

For those who are successful, there are likely to be many benefits, both personally and professionally. ‘It’s a fabulous experience for individuals,’ says Ms Davies. ‘You’ll be working at a national level, which may be new for some, and will be able to gain so much, raising your profile as a nurse leader.

‘You’ll also have the opportunity to network widely with colleagues from the UK and internationally. The impact will be really positive for people’s careers, helping them to develop more skills and contacts.’

The deadline for nominations is Tuesday 29 August, and voting runs from 9 October to 8 November. Click here find out more


Lynne Pearce is a freelance health journalist 

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